New to forum: which B/W film for BIG 5 x 4 format prints

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by sperera, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. sperera

    sperera Subscriber
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    Hi there. I've just joined the forum.

    I'm a repentant digital shooter who's just ordered a Sinar F2 and a 150/5.6 APO Symar L for a personal project I want to undertake on black n white film.

    I have a Scanmate 5000 drum scanner from back in the day that I've got going again, believe it or not hooked up to a Powerbook G3 with SCSI connections!!! and my fave film from those days was T-Max 100.

    I was hoping to find out what you all think is the best (albeit horses for courses etc) black n white film for 5 x 4 to produce prints of up to 80cm high for an exhibition.

    As I said, I always loved T-Max 100 for that 'thing' it has....I dont know it as 5 x 4 film though....only as 35mm....I also used to use Ilford FP4.

    ALSO....I'll be developing the film myself too so which developer is best these days for fine grain I guess most of all....for example I read that Ilford has the ILFOSOL 3.....any comments on developer appreciated too.

    Thanks in advance.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2009
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Kodak still makes 4x5 sheets as do the other major film houses. If your eye is on your wallet you night try www.freestylephoto.biz and check out the Arista films. I use and like them a lot. Welcome to APUG.
     
  3. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    For most purposes, 4x5" is so big that grain will not be a problem with any size enlargement from any type of film. Obviously, ISO 100 films have finer grain than ISO 400, but in general I would say don't use slow 4x5" film if it means compromising sharpness in other ways, e.g. by forcing you to use a shutter speed which is too slow, an aperture which is too large, or with low-light work an exposure which is so long that reciprocity failure becomes a problem (reciprocity failure with slow film means more gain of contrast than with faster film). If you're shooting in the studio with powerful strobes, or outside in bright light, by all means use T-Max 100 or similar. As regards developer, Ilfosol 3 would be fine - so would any standard developer such as D76.
     
  4. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    100TMX is a lovely film in 4x5 and 120; I've never shot it in 35mm so can't comment about that. It has such fine smooth grain that it's hard to screw it up in development, though like the other tabular grain films it doesn't like overdevelopment; it will build a lot of contrast quickly.

    I've developed it in dilute HC-110 (1+50 from syrup), TMAX developer, Xtol, and D-76, the latter two at 1+1. D76 is my favorite.

    Think about 400TMY also if you need a bit more speed. Equally as nice a film as its 100 speed brother.
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Acros. Fuji Neopan Acros 100. I was just looking at some 4x5 prints enlarged to 3 or 4 feet and they were very smooth. These were architectural pinhole prints.

    As for the developer, well... if you are scanning then perhaps another film suited to a pyro developer is the way to go. If you are enlarging traditionally and want a non pyro developer then how about xtol or perceptol.

    P.S. I don't know if tmax has a "thing"... I consider it to be about the most neutral feeling film in all respects :wink:
     
  6. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber
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    Sandy King is a big fan of Acros (120) in Pyrocat for scanning......



     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Yes, that's true, definitely look up Sandy's work. And I think he might give more scanning-related tips at hybridphoto, if they're not already online (and easily searchable) there.

    Pyro negs scan very well.
     
  8. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    You say that you have experience with T-Max 100, and you say that you want large enlargements with minimal grain. To me it's a no-brainer: stick with the T-Max 100, and experiment with the difference between a standard developer used straight, such as D-76 or Xtol, and a fine-grain developer, such as Microdol or Perceptol.
     
  9. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Ditto.

    TMX and M-X is the finest grained combination commercially available. If you want to go further you can try to get some Technical Pan and Technidol on ebay.
     
  10. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Wow, I don't think I've ever been dittoed by an expert before. :smile:
     
  11. OP
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    sperera

    sperera Subscriber
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    sorry...can you explain Pyro negs

    ....are you all saying I should develop film differently if preparing negatives to scan on my drum scanner when Im not going to print up in a darkroom?

    I have a Scanmate Scanview 5000 running Colorquartet on Mac OS system 9
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2009
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    Poor guy has been here fifteen minutes and already the Pyro siren is calling for his soul....

    Pyro is short for a family of staining developers that contain pyrogallol or pyrocatechol. Popular versions include "PMK" and "Pyrocat" There is a lot of information in the archives you can search up for a rather exhaustive overview.

    Pyro negatives scan with less grain because of the stain. We don't discuss scanning here on APUG because it treads into digital, but our sister site HybridPhoto is a great place to take up that subject. APUG is a great place to discuss film, developing, exposure, and all the other analog things. Welcome.
     
  13. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    80cm from 4x5" - that's not all that big an enlargement. I don't really believe that different developers will make all that much difference at only 7-8 times enlargement, so I would choose film and developer for the tonality I wanted instead of maximising sharpness (which is different from resolution anyway).

    I have made 60cm prints from 4.5x6cm negatives, Ilford FP4+ developed in Ilfosol S (the old type) which were visually grainless and tack sharp. An 80cm print from 4x5" is a little more than half that magnification.
     
  14. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    If you've been out of film for a while and just coming back, check out the new 400Tmax. TMY-2 is a remarkable film. Excellent sharpness and remarkably fine grain. Lovely tonality. All this and two full stops faster than 100Tmax, which can be valuable in LF.

    I used to use 5x4 Tri-X, and made prints to 125 x 100 cm using your basic workflow. Beautiful prints. Should be even easier with TMY-2, but I have yet to make prints that large from TMY-2 negatives.

    TMY-2 is now my only B&W film in 5x4. I process it in XTOL 1:3 which gives just excellent results for me.
     
  15. jnantz

    jnantz Advertiser Advertiser
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    huge prints look best from far away ...
    yes not sharp and kind of grainy,
    but like a pointillist or impressionist
    painting, everything falls into place if your nose
    isn't against the image ..
    look at the images guillaume zuili is making
    enlarged HUGE from a 35mm negative ... just beautiful ..

    photography (and large format) isn't all about eye bleeding sharp images,
    it can be about other thing as well .....
     
  16. OP
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    sperera

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    thanks

    thanks for your help guys!
     
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